@ Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, Ca)
Three of the funkiest Bay Area bands bringing the dancing vibes to Berkeley, Ca.
CitizenFive is a funk-rooted soul band of multi-instrumentalists making music in Oakland, Ca. Founded and led by vocalist, songwriter, and percussionist Nate "Suave" Cameron, Jr., a New Orleans native, and keys player, sax player, and songwriter Kevin Seal, from Cincinnati. Together they create the foundation for politically charged experimental riffs on progressive R&B and hip hop grooves. Their style incorporates slash chords, backmasking, micro-edits, and stacked harmonies to play with the conventions of soul music.
Bassist Ted "Blyss" Gould (Zigaboo Modeliste, Jody Watley, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Jon B, etc.) and drummer Rian Robinson provide what has been referred to as one of the most grooviest rhythm sections in the Bay Area. CitizenFive's lyrics, which Suave delivers via his gospel-schooled baritone voice, often address issues of resistance, love, life, and social justice. With Seal's extensive rock experience on keys, Blyss' deep New Orleans funk roots on bass, and Rian's southern baptist and contemporary gospel chops on drums, they create a new sound,a vibe, and an experience.
Hip hop, New Orleans funk, and soul runs through it, but so does outsider-rock weirdness. It's melodic, it's inclusive, its funky, and it's unexpected. It's CitizenFive.
Stymie & the PJLO
Stymie, who grew up in Hollywood off of Sunset, started the band in San Francisco in 1996. The first lineup featured Joe “Mojo” Powell, a soulful harmonizer who still sings with the band today. As for the band name, Stymie thought it up while walking down Haight Street, and the name, like his songs, are meant to remind the audience that there ain’t nothin’ but overflowin’ imagination around here. The band soon proved itself to be incredible live, and while it has enjoyed the honor of opening gigs for the likes of Earth, Wind, & Fire, Fred Wesley, and Billy Preston over the years, Stymie and thePJLO has been packing ‘em in with its own sold-out headlining shows for over a decade now.
Pamela Parker's Fantastic Machine
Pamela Parker's Fantastic Machine is a celebration of the Summer of Love -- just in time for the 50th Anniversary! This band captures the San Francisco music scene, ranging fro rock to gospel to R&B to epic psychedelia. The band features Tom Finch on guitar/vocals, Spence Murray on bass, Chris McGrew on drums, and Jordan Feinstein on piano/organ/vocals. The band's raw energy along with Pamela's powerhouse pipes bring to mind Amy Winehouse and Ann Wilson. Their dynamic show draws you close, then surges forward with anthemic power to lift you higher. Pamela shreds like a cross between Susan Tedeschi and Bonnie Raitt, guiding us with danceable hooks alongside her dueling lead player, Tom Finch. The upcoming album creates a fresh rock n'roll landscape with a diversity of touchstones you wouldn't expect to experience like Alabama Shakes, Adele, Thin Lizzy, and Funkadelic. The last album, Evolutionary Process, debuted at #1 and was up for Album of the Year in Vancouver, BC.